The Texas blind snakes are very narrow species that you will find in the different habitats across the state. The blind snake is known to grow up to 11 inches in length and they eat a wide array of things around the state such as termites, ants, and insect larvae.

These snakes are often confused for being worms, however when you examine them clearly, then you are going to realize that they are some of the most common snakes that you will find in the state of Texas.

This snake usually tends to be docile, hence you will find that it is often hiding in different areas. The snakes will appear as a shiny earthworm and their eyes are no more than two dots that are located on the head scales. They are some of the iconic species that you are going to find in the state of Texas.

It is imperative to note that these snakes do not have any teeth on their upper jaws while the lower jaws are small and very short. These snakes eat by flexing their short lower jaws and making a raking motion before swallowing the prey into their esophagus. 

How do Texas blind snakes behave?

The Texas blind snakes are very unique species. The snake will spend most of the time buried in loose soils around the state and they will only come out when they want to feed. These snakes usually come out especially when there are heavy rains and they are pulled out by the rushing waters around the state. 

Further reading: Dangerous animals in Texas

Whenever these snakes are handled, they will try to bite or poke their tails. They are harmless in nature and they are only in nature to ensure a balance in the ecosystem. The mouth of these snakes is very small and they cannot bite effectively. 

These snakes are known to have commensal behaviors with owls as they are known to be taken to the nest to clear the different parasites in the nest. This is a unique behavior and the snakes have proven to be effective in the exercise.

What do Texas blind snakes eat?

The primary diet of the Texas blind snakes is primarily ant larvae and termites.

Features of Texas blind snake

The snake has several names such as the eastern worm snake, plains blind snake, Texas worm snake, worm snake, and Texas Rena. The Texas blind snakes are found in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.

The Texas blind snake is not blind as many people might want to assume. They usually have smaller eyes and they like burrowing themselves under the soil.

They can weigh up to 2 grams and they are carnivorous in nature. 

Blind snakes usually use side-to-side motion when moving on the ground. They utilize the tunnels that have been constructed by insects to look for their food.

These snakes are known to invade the termite nests and they can consume the termite larvae with ease. During this process, they usually release a large amount of repelling toxin that will not allow the ants to bite it.

In addition to this, they usually produce a pungent smell from their anal glands and these secretions are usually intraspecific signals which means they can attract fellow blind snakes. The snake is known to be nocturnal in nature.

How does the Texas blind snake look like?

The Texas blind snakes are pinkish brown in color and you are likely to confuse it for the shiny earthworms. However, the most differentiating factor is the scales that are usually present, unlike earthworms which do not have such scales.

Some of the longest Texas blind snakes that is found in nature can grow up to 30 centimeters long and with a diameter of 5 millimeters. While you are looking at them it might be difficult to see their eyes.

However, they usually have two vestigial eyes that are located on the head scales. They are two tin spots.

Where will you find the Texas blind snakes?

The Texas blind snakes are known to inhabit a wide array of places in the state of Texas and they are usually endemic to northern Mexico and the southwestern region of the United States.

The other places that you are going to find the Texas blind snake in southeastern Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Texas.

Where do these snakes live?

Perhaps this is the most common question about the Texas blind snakes. They usually inhabit a wide array of locations in the state of Texas and during your visit, you are going to find them in different habitats such as the oak juniper woodland, prairie grasslands, rocky hillsides, canyon bottoms, residential areas, and farms.

They usually like to inhabit areas that are moist and wet and this will be in the trash and loose soils as well.

Fun facts about the Texas blind snakes

  • They do not have any teeth and cannot bite humans or their prey
  • They consume ants and parasites living in a nest of eastern screech owl chicks
  • They can release odors that can deter predators such as armadillos

Conservation of Texas Blind snakes

The Texas blind snake’s population is difficult to estimate because this creature is very secretive in nature and they are known to inhabit different parts of the state of Texas.

The population of these creatures is usually affected by the fires that affect the areas where the ants live. They are considered endangered species because their population is directly linked to the presence of habitat.

Any habitat loss in the region is going to result in the loss of a large population of the Texas blind snake. Some of the other features that affect the population of these snakes are predation by animals that are not from Texas and road mortality.

There are efforts that have been taken to protect them in the state of Texas.

How aggressive are Texas blind snakes?

It is important to understand that the Texas worm or Texas blind snakes are not aggressive in nature. They have a gentle temperament and it is a popular pet in some locations around the United States.

Since they are docile and they usually hide in their habitat they are likely to hide in the storage jar or container as well.

Are Texas blind snakes dangerous?

The Texas blind snakes are not poisonous in nature and as indicated they do not have teeth therefore; they are not going to bite you. 

Even in a scenario that they could have teeth the mouth and the head of this species is very small that the effect would be painless. 

These snakes are a nuisance to homeowners because they can live in the foundation of the home. They usually cause structural damage and there are instances that these snakes can make their way into your home thereby causing major nuisance because they can find themselves in areas that are hard to remove.

Where in Texas will you find these blind snakes?

The Texas blind snakes can be found in some of the common habitats such as shrublands, woodlands, savanna, bushes, and even in residential areas

They use their blunt snout to dig through the loose soil and vegetation, thereby creating tunnels where they can use to hide and move from one place to another.

How do they hunt their prey?

These snakes usually have a very unique way of hunting their prey and despite the name, these snakes are not completely blind. They can see a little light and perhaps the most technique that comes into play is that they will use their sense of smell to track the chemical trails that are left by the termites and ants. 

When they find the insect larvae and the termites then they will use their lower jaw to bring them into their mouth in a raking action before swallowing them.

The method of consumption by this creature is similar to that of a vacuum cleaner sucking dirt from a carpet.

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.